Chris Kamara: Watch ‘Kammy’ give emotional speech as he is awarded Freedom of Wakefield

He is known for his famous catchphrases, his energetic commentary and his charity campaigning and now former footballer Chris Kamara has been awarded Freedom of the City of Wakefield in an emotional ceremony.

Kammy, as he is affectionately known, received the accolade yesterday (May 15) in a packed out civic ceremony before a private reception inside Wakefield County Hall.

He said: “I was born and bred in Middlesbrough, and I’m proud of that, but Wakefield is my home.

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“This is the longest we've lived anywhere - 34 years. It's amazing really. As the saying goes: never forget where you're coming from.”

Kammy thanked his sons Ben and Jack and his wife Anne as well as Mayor Josie Pritchard and Councillor Denise Jeffery, who put him forward for the award.

Fighting back the tears, Kammy said: “I am humbled, grateful. I don’t feel worthy. But what an honour. Thank you so much for making it a memorable day.”

Wakefield Mayor Josie Pritchard said: “Chris is a local and national legend and an inspiration to so many people.

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“We are absolutely delighted to have given him the highest honour we can bestow – Freedom of the City.

Chris Kamara is an 'absolute legend'Chris Kamara is an 'absolute legend'
Chris Kamara is an 'absolute legend'

“He has been a massive supporter of many charities, raising millions and making a difference to the lives of many.

“Locally, he is an active supporter of Wakefield Hospice, Andy’s Man Club and Pinderfields Hospital, to name but a few.”

Kamara’s sons - who moved to Wakefield with their mother and father aged five and three - also paid tribute to their father, a self-dubbed “nomad as a footballer.”

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His son Ben joked: “Dad is the only person who can get away with not doing a job properly and become a national treasure. As a player, Dad had more clubs than Wakefield’s Westgate.”

Unbelievable! Kammy receives freedom of 'Shakey Wakey' in an emotional receptionUnbelievable! Kammy receives freedom of 'Shakey Wakey' in an emotional reception
Unbelievable! Kammy receives freedom of 'Shakey Wakey' in an emotional reception

Councillor Mohammed Ayub attended the ceremony where he captured Kammy’s emotional speech in this video.

He said: “It was an event filled with laughter and tears. Chris Kamara MBE is so deserving of being awarded the Freedom of City in recognition for his services to charity and the city of Wakefield.”

Coun leader Denise Jeffery said: “Freedom of the city is the highest honour that we can give to someone in our district.

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“Chris is an extraordinary person who has played an outstanding role for Wakefield.

MayorJosie Pritchard presenting the award to Chris KamaraMayorJosie Pritchard presenting the award to Chris Kamara
MayorJosie Pritchard presenting the award to Chris Kamara

“The first thing that everyone knows about Chris is what a fantastic ambassador he is for sport, for charity and our city.”

Mayor Josie Pritchard, later posted on social media: “Chris is so humble and I honestly don't think he realises just how loved he is by all who know him and all who meet him.”

Afterwards Kammy added: “I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded Freedom of the City of Wakefield. It’s been an absolutely unbelievable day. I’m blown away by it, this honour really means the world to me.”

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